Last month, a 14-year-old terrier named Rascal who appeared to be covered in dirt was dropped off at the Nanaimo SPCA on Vancouver Island. But on closer inspection, the staff realized the dirt was actually a swarm of more than 100,000 fleas that had ingested more than 85 percent of Rascal’s red blood cells.
The severely neglected pup was rushed to Island Veterinarian Hospital, where vet Ken Langelier was faced with a decision: Either euthanize Rascal or perform a lengthy blood transfusion to save his life.
Langelier said it was the worst flea infestation he’d had seen in his 40 years of practice, but he wasn’t willing to give up.
“I looked at this dog and said, ‘You’re not dying on my watch, baby,’” he said.
Fortunately, a staff member’s German shepherd was a universal blood donor.
Katie was rushed to the clinic and, four hours later, Rascal had received 400 milliliters of the German shepherd’s lifesaving blood.
Little Rascal is now on the road to a full recovery and will soon be available for adoption. He and Katie even had a play date recently, and we’re sure the little guy slathered her face with kisses!
Meanwhile, investigators are searching for whoever dropped Rascal off in such horrible conditions at the SPCA facility. If he or she is found, officials may press criminal charges.
Watch the video for more of Rascal’s story. Some images are graphic.